Tuesday, August 28, 2018

UMNO Finally Falls

 May 2018-   The United Malays National Organization (UMNO)  which has ruled Malaysia's federal government since its formation in 1963 and also Sabah since 1994 has finally fallen.
        The results of the 14th General Elections and the Sabah State Elections held on May 9th saw UMNO finally taking a beating. At the federal level, the opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition spearheaded by former prime minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad won enough seats to form the federal government. At the state level, UMNO only managed 17 seats out of the 32 seats it contested. Together with its allies Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Organization (UPKO) and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), they managed 29 seats. The Sabah-born Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) and its allies also managed 29 seats. The kingmaker was therefore the Parti Solidariti Tanahairku (STAR) which won two seats.
      However unexpectedly the STAR president Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan who had all along opposed UMNO rule in Sabah, decided to help UMNO form the government again. Sensing that this UMN0-Star coalition would not last long, UPKO acting president Wifred Tangau decided to join forces with Warisan.
This gave Warisan and its allies the Democratic Action Party (DAP), Parti Keadilan (PKR) and new partner UPKO a total  of 34 seats, but one UPKO rep decided to stick with UMNO, thus giving Warisan and its partners 33 out of 60 seats, enough to unseat UMNO.
       Thus 24 years of UMNO rule came to an end. Those who criticise UPKO for jumping ship must remember that in 1994 UMNO came to power in Sabah due to assemblymen from the ruling government hopping to UMNO. And as UPKO pointed out, the UMNO government would never last, and truly enough two days after the elections, two UMNO reps left for Warisan.  Also, the UMNO chief Musa Aman was alleged to have forcibly confined UPKO reps at his residence and forced them to sign allegiance to him, which is very undemocratic if true.
      Let us hope that the new government which is finally helmed by a Sabahan party will rule Sabah fairly and bring more development to the state.

Monday, May 16, 2016

More Families Celebrating Kaamatan

It is good to note that more Kadazandusun families are now celebrating Kaamatan. Previously organization of Kaamatan festivities was mainly done by district offices and village committees. Now, more and more families are taking the initiative to hold their own Kaamatan festivals. Spokesperson for the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA), Datuk John Anthony recently lauded such family initiatives at the Soluja Solimuda Family Kaamatan in Papar. It is learned that more families in Sabah are organizing Kaamatan festivities throughout the month of May this year. This is a good sign that Kaamatan among the Kadazandusuns is alive and well.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

The North Borneo Herald wishes all its readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Yamaha FZ For Fuel Economy

    The all new Yamaha FZ150i, 2014 edition is a stylish yet affordable and economical motorcycle. In view of the recent fuel hike many might want to consider this bike as a means of travelling to and from work. With a 12-litre tank and low displacement, this bike can go up to 300 kilometres on a full tank.
   With its stylish look the rider could also blend in with high-powered bikes. It is also a plus point for those who want to use a motorcycle but shy away from mopeds which are so common on our roads.
      The recent increase in gasoline price will help to increase the sales of this bike. It will surely find a place with those who travel long distances to work daily.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Exercise Care In Wake of Sedition Crackdown

 The North Borneo Herald wishes to advise fellow bloggers on the need to exercise care when reporting on truths and writing articles which may offend the ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO). This is because of the recent crackdown by the UMNO-dominated government by arresting students, a lecturer, a reporter, a lawyer, a Muslim preacher and opposition politicians who have wrote things or made statements which may have angered UMNO.
    Bloggers can however endear themselves to the government by reporting on UMNO's achievements or writing articles praising Umno. Though some might find this against their principles, we must admit that this is a price we have to pay for freedom.
    Do not laugh when reading this article, as you might be arrested for sedition!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tiger of Jelutong Dies

     Chairman of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), Karpal Singh died on April 17th this year in a car crash in Malaya, while travelling from the federal capital Kuala Lumpur to his home state of Penang.

      Karpal Singh joined the DAP in 1970 and had served as state assemblyman and member of parliament until his death.

       Karpal  was cremated according to Sikh rites. His son Ramkarpal Singh succeeded him as member of parliament after winning the by-election following his father's death.

        Karpal was popularly known as the Tiger of Jelutong during his lifetime. Among his struggles were fighting against the death penalty in the Malaysian legal system, fighting abuses by the Malay monarchy, fighting against Islamicization of the federation and fighting against persecution of members of the opposition including the current opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

         Karpal had during his lifetime been imprisoned many times by the authorities for his struggles. His death is definitely a loss for Malaysians.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Malaysian Forces Crush Terrorists

 The Royal Malaysian Armed Forces has successfully crushed the armed invasion by Filipino terrorists in Kampung Tanduo, Tungku. The armed invaders had intended to claim Sabah for the non-existent Sultanate of Sulu. They had killed three of our policemen and an army personnel. The army's victory is timely in light of the upcoming state and parliamentary elections.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Extremist MP Calls On Muslims to Burn Bibles

 The independent Member of Parliament (MP) of Pasir Mas in Kelantan, Ibrahim Ali has called on Muslims in Malaysia to burn copies of the Malay language Bible. He made this call at an event at the Mara University of Technology (UITM)'s Penang campus, which was officiated by former Prime Minister Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad. This was reported by on-line news portal, Free Malaysia Today.

  Such a seditious act surely warrants action. However Malaysians will just wait and see whether Ibrahim Ali will be charged under the sedition act.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Danger of Supporting the Syrian Rebellion

The on-going rebellion against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria seem to be supported by many around the world. The United States which supposedly helped "liberate" Iraq from Saddam Hussein seem not serious in wanting to end the blood bath there.

Objections from China and Russia has been cited for the lack of action by other nations. However the real reason for the United States and its allies' abstention from action on the Syrian regime is not China and Russia.

China and Russia both have their reasons for wanting keep the current regime in Syria in power. Russia is the biggest supplier of arms to Syria. China meanwhile shares many of its communist ideologies with socialist Syria.

But it is believed that what keeps Western powers from interfering in Syria is that Al-Qaeda also dreams of seeing the Assad regime toppled.

The West is in a catch-22 situation where it suddenly finds it has a common enemy with the Al-Qaeda.

It would be interesting to note that despite having a population with over 70% Sunni Muslims, the ruling family in Syria belong to a distinct heterodox branch of Islam-Alawiism. Until 1973, this sect was not even considered as part of Islam.

It was the Shiite cleric Musa al Sadr who issued a fatwa* declaring the Alawis to be Shiite Muslims. But this would not have been done if Assad's father, Hafez al-Assad had not been in power.

Some of the distinct features of Alawi beliefs from the rest of Islam is the drinking of wine as part of worship, the observance of Christian holidays such as Christmas,Easter, Epiphany and Pentecost. The Alawis do not perform the five-times-a-day prayer like the majority of Muslims and mosques are absent in many Alawi areas. Fasting in Ramadan is also not observed.

Now, Al-Qaeda and many orthodox Sunni Muslim individuals, organizations and nations would like to see the fall of Assad so that "true Muslims" could once again helm Syria. It is an irritant for some of them to see a large Sunni Muslim nation in the middle of the Middle East being ruled by what they consider nominal Muslims.

It is also no secret that many of those in Syria who want to topple Assad harbour dreams of creating an Islamic state.

The Assad regime is strongly backed by Alawis, Druze** and Christians who fear that a Sunni Muslim government would discriminate against minorities.

Arab nations with the exception of Iraq are already calling for the supply of arms to the rebellion in Syria. Even Turkey is calling for action on Syria. Understandably these are Sunni Muslim nations.

Iraq meanwhile has a Shiite majority. Iran too backs the Assad regime in Syria as it is also a Shiite nation. And it would not be surprising if Iran is hoping to maintain a Shiite corridor between the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Persia.

The fact that Alawis are not really Shiites does not seem to bother the orthodox Shiite government of Iran, as what matters is that the Alawis are not Sunnis.

As for the international community, the question that they should ask is whether they want to see the fall of a secular Syrian government and the rise of an Islamist government which might persecute against non-Sunnis in the country.

What would the future be for the Alawis and non-Muslims in Syria should a Sunni-majority government be installed. Christians especially do not want the same fate as their brethren in Egypt and Iraq, where attacks against Christians are becoming constant since the fall of Hosni Mubarak and Saddam Hussein respectively.

Would the Alawis too be persecuted like the Bahais, Ahmadiyas and Alevis in other predominantly Muslim countries?

As much as we would like to sympathise with the protestors and rebels in Syria, we must also not forget the fate that awaits Syria's religious minorities should the rebels gain the upper hand.

Already a prominent Syrian Sunni cleric, Adnan al-Arour has threatened the Alawi community should Assad be toppled. He said "we shall mince them in grinders and feed them to the dogs" on the Middle-Eastern television channel-MEMRI TV.

True, Assad's military has committed some despicable acts such as torture, executions, large scale killings, desecration of mosques. But are these done on Assad's orders or by some overzealous people in his regime?

The international community including Malaysia should be cautious by not supporting the rebels in Syria. But what they could do is to get Assad to relax military assault on civillian targets and also to get him to rid the Syrian military of generals who have ordered this.

It is important to note that Assad has promised reforms and a new constitution has been voted by referendum. The rebels who insist on toppling Assad through combat definitlely have a sinister agenda.

Slogans of "Christians to Beirut (capital of Lebanon) and Alawis to the coffin" are already resonating among those protesting in Syria. Surely, the international community would not want any hand in making this slogan a reality.

*religious edict
**a very distinctive Muslim sect whose holy book includes both the Quran and the Bible

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Standard Marriage Certs For Native Marriages

An officer from the Sabah Native Affairs Office has pledged that his office will issue standard marriage and divorce certificates to be used by all Natives courts in Sabah.

Azmi Salim the officer, said at the moment his office is in the midst of preparing these certificates. Presently there are no standard marriage certificates issued by the Natives courts.

All marriage certificates currently in use are merely engagement certification papers which are stamped as "married" by the natives court.

Azmi was speaking at a seminar entitled Understanding on the Rights and Customs of Sabah Natives at the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) hall on Saturday, March 10.

A reader had a few years ago proposed that the Natives Court issue standard marriage certificates in a Daily Express forum.

The reader Farouq Omaro, had also proposed that those holding office in the natives court
have legal background and not be appointed based on political affiliations, a proposal that has yet to materialise.

Anyway, the Sabah government should be congratulated on its decision to issue standard marriage certificates through the Natives Court. It is hoped that marriages in the natives court are not nullified by the civil or Sharia courts.